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A Thousand Acres

by Jane Smiley

Larry Cook’s farm is the largest in Zebulon County, Iowa, and a tribute to his hard work and single-mindedness. Proud and possessive, his sudden decision to retire and hand over the farm to his three daughters is disarmingly uncharacteristic. Ginny and Rose, the two eldest, are startled yet eager to accept, but Caroline, the youngest daughter, has misgivings. Immediately, her father cuts her out.

This astonishing novel won both of America’s highest literary awards, the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Critics’ Circle Award.


A Thousand Acres is a strong, gnarled shocker of a novel… superb.’ Sunday Times

‘Epic fiction of the very highest order, naturalistic , penetrating and wholly absorbing.’ Literary Review 

‘Powerful, poignant, intimate and involving.’ New York Times

‘Superlative, extraordinary, amazing. A Thousand Acres is a great American tragedy about the failure of a family’s land and the failure of its love. There may have been better novels than A Thousand Acres, but I fear I didn’t read them – a haunting inquisition into the decline and fall of a family.’ Independent


23 October, 1991

About Jane Smiley

Jane Smiley is the author of numerous novels, including A Thousand Acreswhich was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, as well as five works of nonfiction and a series of books for young adults. In 2001 she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and in 2006 she received the PEN USA Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature. She lives in Northern California.

Other books by Jane Smiley


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